US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi held talks with officials in Singapore on Monday at the start of her Asian tour, as questions swirled over a possible stop in Taiwan that has fuelled tension with Beijing.
Pelosi met Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, President Halimah Yacob and other Cabinet members, the Foreign Ministry said.
Lee welcomed a US commitment to strong engagement with the region and the two sides discussed ways to deepen US economic engagement through initiatives such as the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, the ministry said in a statement.
Lee and Pelosi also discussed the war in Ukraine, tensions surrounding Taiwan and mainland China, and climate change, it said. Lee “highlighted the importance of stable US-China relations for regional peace and security,” it added, in an apparent allusion to reports that Pelosi may visit Taiwan, the Tribune reported.
In a statement over the weekend, Pelosi said she would visit Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan to discuss trade, the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, security and “democratic governance.” She didn’t confirm reports that she might visit Taiwan, which is claimed by Beijing as its own territory.
Chinese President Xi Jinping had warned against meddling in Beijing’s dealings with the island in a phone call last week with US President Joe Biden.